Will Your Insurance Cover Your Winter Water Damage?
Winter is one of the busiest seasons for water damage. Burst pipes are typically the culprit due to freezing temperatures. With approximately 1 in 50 insured homeowners filing a water damage claim each year, it’s important to make sure you are covered should a water emergency arise.
What Risks Do I Need to Plan For?
Be aware of perils your policy does not cover and consider purchasing additional coverage. Some perils can be covered by adding an endorsement, for others you may have to purchase an additional policy to cover a specific peril or item of property.
Know the typical weather patterns in your area and what types of risks storms might bring. Reasons you may want extra coverage are floods, earthquakes, wind & hail damage, mold, sewage systems, and other plumbing or drain systems.
Most insurance policies do not cover earthquake or flood damage. If you live in a high-risk area, you may need extra coverage. The government has programs to aide in these situations. Visit www.floodsmart.gov to find out your flood risk and to find plans.
Protection of your possessions is another often overlooked area. Your standard policy may be limited, so extra coverage for anything of personal value or worth may be worth adding.
What Do I Need to Know About My Current Coverage?
One of the biggest mistakes most homeowners make is not having adequate insurance for their property. It is imperative that you know what your policy does and does not cover. Most basic policies have limits, so you may need to purchase additional policies to have the coverage you need.
Pay attention to things left out of coverage limits, or whether you will be reimbursed purchase price or depreciated value for your home and overall property items.
Know the value of the items in your home. Taking a home inventory can help you identify what kind of insurance you will need to cover valuables should they become lost or stolen. It will also help you decide if you need extra coverage for larger ticket items such as jewelry, art, or heirlooms.
Do an annual check-in with your insurance agent to be sure you have the coverage you need. Big life changes, like purchasing a new house, are good times to check in and possibly shop and compare rates to make necessary changes.
Some carriers may not provide the specific coverage you’re looking for and you may need to go elsewhere to get the protection you need.
How Often Should I Review My Policy?
Life is constantly changing, and it is important that you keep your insurance coverage up to date with your current needs. The coverage you needed in your first home or apartment may be different that the coverage you need twenty years down the road if you are in a larger home, with several cars, or a valuable collection.
It is recommended that you have a personal insurance audit every few years to be sure your policies are in line with your assets, living situation, and lifestyle. Talking with your insurance agent and doing an overall assessment of your possible risks, and needs is the best way to get you adequately covered.
What Actions Should I Take Now?
If there are damages after a storm, emergency, or event one of the first things you’ll need to do is get in touch with your insurance company. Have a place where you have saved all insurance phone numbers and contacts. You’ll want quick and easy access to these contacts should you need them.
Too many people find themselves inadequately insured and must suffer the consequences. The drain on your money and time can be devastating. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Do an insurance review and be sure you have the coverage you need.
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